After a trial, or after pleading to a criminal accusation or charge, the next step in the legal process is sentencing. Sentencing is the process in which a person is reprimanded for the crime they were convicted of or pled guilty to. It can include a variety of charges ranging in severity. For violent crimes, sentencing for these type of crimes can be most severe. Many factors go into sentencing decisions and the sentence may be handed down by a judge or jury.
The law recognizes different types of murder and upon conviction, punish them in different ways. This post will generally discuss first degree murder and second degree murder, under the state's statutes. Readers who require specific information about homicide or murder charges, currently pending in Michigan, should speak with criminal defense attorneys about their cases and options.
All criminal charges are serious, but those based on the alleged commission of violent crimes can be punished with significant penalties that may deprive Kalamazoo residents of their freedom and rights. Particularly, crimes, such as rape, homicide and aggravated assault can be met with sanctions, such as extensive prison sentences and the possibly of those convicted never being paroled.
The law states that a criminal defendant is innocent until proven guilty of an alleged crime. However, when a Michigan resident is facing criminal charges, the court of public opinion is often quick to cast judgment. This is particularly true if the defendant has a previous criminal record.
Sometimes after a person is charged with a crime, he or she winds up facing new charges that are far more serious than the initial charge. This amplifies the need for a strong criminal defense, as an upgrade in criminal charges could mean years in prison if prosecutors are successful in obtaining a conviction.
Nearly all of us have been in a disagreement with another person. Most of the time these verbal altercations remain verbal and quickly dissipate. In some cases, however, an argument can evolve into a physical fight. In the aftermath of these instances, criminal charges may be filed. Assault charges are quite serious and carry the potential for harsh penalties. Those penalties can be enhanced when the individual uses a dangerous weapon while committing an assault.
Violence is very real in our society. Whether on television or in our local communities, images of assault, robbery, manslaughter and murder permeate our culture. For some Michiganders, this violence can lead to criminal charges, which will be aggressively prosecuted by the state. Defending against allegations of violent crimes can be challenging, particularly with the media's portrayal of a criminal defendant can make him or her appear guilty before being adjudicated as such by a court of law. Therefore, those facing criminal charges need to aggressively pursue their defense strategy in hopes of avoiding harsh penalties.
Just about every Michigander has found him or herself in the middle of a disagreement at one time or another. Most of the time, these spats settle in a matter of minutes, hours or days, with very little residual effects except for perhaps some hard feelings. However, in some instances, arguments become physical, leaving individuals seriously injured or even dead. In the aftermath of these situations, the police and prosecutors will try to decipher what happened and, most likely, will bring criminal charges against an individual.
Even though individuals who are found guilty of a crime and serve out their prison sentences are considered to have paid their debt to society, the legal system does not treat them equal to non-offenders when it comes to potential penalties for the same crime. Alleged repeat offenders are often confronted with harsher penalties than the first time they were accused and convicted of the crime, and failing to adequately defend against these subsequent charges could significantly damage the accused's life.
Every criminal case that is brought in Michigan is unique. Even when two cases have the same charges, the underlying facts and the applicable law can be different. Therefore, there are some cases where raising doubt as to the defendant's guilt is relatively easy, while other cases are extremely difficult to refute the charges. Yet, even in these latter cases, having a strong criminal defense can be critical, as it may allow a defendant to avoid the harshest criminal charges and penalties.